I shall not
I shall not weep
Great article and good food for thought from a fan perspective.
(1) Regarding the Tayshaun situation - it's understandable that we would think Joerger will want to start him based on recent history, but we have to keep in mind the organization (presumably which Joerger has major decision making power) first option was to trade Tayshaun on draft night. Jordan Adams was really the second option. This tells me that Joerger understands that Tay is not that viable of an NBA player and that they will decrease his minutes. Maybe? At least it's a positive sign?
(2) I disagree with your premise that MEM has too many wing players. I think Joerger envisions a more free flowing offense with multiple decision and shot makers on the court at the same time. Defense will be the issue, but I don't think he and the FO are that hung up about positional logjams.
(3) Jordon Adams has long arms. Jordon Adams has really long arms. This gives him a significant competitive edge among his peers, one that may make up for his lack of athleticism. It allows him to finish around the basket in creative and unexpected ways, it allows him to get his shot off, and it allows him to reach in and get steals at a very high rate. Worth noting that long arms is probably one of the major reasons that Zbo has been able to be so productive for so long.
I guess what I'm arguing is that those late shot clock iso Zbo's when MEM lost it's lead was more a symptoms of the offense being lazy than the cause of it being lazy. When the offense is humming, those iso Zbo's come earlier in the shot clot so that there is more time for weakside action to work.
And Zbo isn't going score in the post efficiently vs OKC because their post defense is so stout, but what he is going to do is get their attention so MEM offense can work in other ways.
The key is that Zbo has to attack the basket some of the time to continue to occupy that defensive attention.
Maybe the 'decoy' term is misleading, another way of looking at this is to say that MEM needs the Zbo iso as one part of multiple ways of attacking the OKC defense. Having multiple ways of attacking keeps OKC's defense guessing which is what has given MEM the edge in this series.
I made this point elsewhere but interested fans should this read this (http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2014/4/22/5639…) by Mike Prada - especially the second section, 'hammering the nail'.
The point is, when the Grizzlies offense is working well, Zbo primarily functions as a glorified decoy to distract the defense while weakside action by the perimeter players gets them easy buckets. So Zbo post-ups are designed not just to score points for Zbo but to generate space and looks for the *team* to score easily. And for the decoy action to work well, Zbo *has* to try to score some of the time, even if he is not doing it efficiently, so that he can draw the defense to him. And the reason MEM is winning games is that by scoring easy buckets, they have really damaged OKC's major offensive weapon: transition offense.
Zbo should pass more out of the post, but the offense isn't as simplistic as it looks: the Zbo post-up is a sophisticated offense weapon.
Re small ball: It would be interesting (maybe after the next game) to look at the +/- splits of Marc and Zbo when they play together v separately. I have a feeling that against OKC the they are doing better playing separately because of the improvement in spacing.
There probably needs to a dose of reality of the the business world in this discussion. Basically, anytime a business (such as an NBA team) changes ownership, there are going to be major changes to the organization. That is why the new ownership bought the business in the first place - they thought they could do a better job with a different approach.
Hollins expiring contract was a good opportunity for the new ownership to put their mark on the franchise. I firmly believe if Heisley had given Hollins a longer contract, he would still have a job.
I think fans sometimes do not like to think of the NBA as a business, but that is the reality. Things don't always go the way you want just because you love the team.
To the Hollins haters: I believe that no matter what Hollins did, his time on the Grizzlies was numbered once the franchise changed hands. All of the 'mistakes' he made are probably overblown, and, ultimately, he really is a good coach who was a victim of circumstances. Unfortunately for him the NBA landscape has changed so I'm not sure he will get another HC job.
To the Hollins defenders: maybe you should direct some of your ire at Heisley for selling the team when he did and for not extending Hollins when he had the chance.
It reflects something about the quality of front offices that both MIL and CLE both whiffed on Leuer's talent but MEM signed him to a long term (cheap) contract before he had proved much in the league.
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By Louis Goggans
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